WBEZ | gun control http://www.wbez.org/tags/gun-control Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en At Indiana Gun Show, Some Welcome Stricter Background Checks http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-gun-show-some-welcome-stricter-background-checks-114412 <p><div>Indiana gun owners listened closely this week as President Barack Obama outlined executive steps that he says will curb gun violence. One action would take direct aim at the so-called &ldquo;gun show loophole,&rdquo; where private sellers are not required to conduct a background check.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks or be subject to criminal prosecutions. It doesn&rsquo;t matter whether you&rsquo;re doing it over the internet or at a gun show, President <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/live-address-obama-takes-his-plan-gun-control-public-114377" target="_blank">Obama said from the White House on Tuesday.&nbsp;</a></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Indy%20Guns%202.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="A vendor’s table shows the wide variety of weapons available at gun shows in Indiana. President Obama wants to require private sellers of guns to obtain a background check before selling a gun to an individual. (WBEZ/Michael Puente)" />Gun shows are big business in the Hoosier state. In Northwest Indiana there&rsquo;s one happening nearly every month.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The latest occurred in Crown Point in December at the Lake County Fairgrounds. Nick, a Schererville resident who declined to give his last name, attended the show with his father.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>While he acknowledged the loophole, he wasn&rsquo;t convinced that closing it would make much of a difference.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Look at the gangbangers in Chicago. Do you think they all have carry cards? No,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;[Do] we need more laws? No you don&rsquo;t. You need to enforce the laws you have.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But those in favor of stricter background checks say the law they need doesn&rsquo;t exist.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;There are individuals at these gun shows that are skirting the law. They are called private dealers,&rdquo; said Lake County, Indiana Sheriff John Buncich.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Buncich&rsquo;s headquarters is just down the road from where the Crown Point gun show was held. He said he has tried to shut down the gun shows but other county officials have ignored his calls.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;What we found is that in the parking lots of a lot of these gun shows, individuals will conduct illegal sales,&rdquo; Buncich said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Law enforcement officials say many of those guns end up on the streets of Chicago and contribute to violence.</div><div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Indy%20Guns%201.JPG" style="height: 720px; width: 540px;" title="Felix Gonzalez of Chicago walks out of a gun show in Crown Point, Indiana in December with bags of ammunition. President Obama’s executive action would require more stringent background checks at gun shows in Indiana, primarily between private parties. (WBEZ/Michael Puente)" /></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But Chicago resident Felix Gonzalez, who walked out of the gun show with two big bags of bullets, said tougher gun controls ultimately hurt law-abiding citizens.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;It punishes the railroad worker who lives in these bad areas, the young middle-class black family who basically has been denied the right to protect their family,&rdquo; Gonzalez, who also serves an a firearms instructor, said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Inside the show, a crowd of hunters and sportsmen perused tables filled with semi-automatic rifles, pistols and ammunition of every size and type.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Vendor Tom Huffman, a retired police officer from Kokomo, Indiana, drove two hours to sell his wares at the show. His company, called Tommy Guns, is federally licensed and performs background checks right on the spot.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;I can sell a gentleman a gun. It will go through, be perfectly fine because he cleared all the background checks. He takes it home, keeps it a couple of weeks, sells it to his neighbor. His neighbor has no background check or anything,&rdquo; Huffman said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Huffman says that&rsquo;s where the problem lies. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;If we didn&rsquo;t have the private sales and things it would stop a lot of these guns getting into the wrong hands,&rdquo; Huffman said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In his speech Tuesday President Obama said a majority of gun owners nationwide support stricter background checks.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In Indiana a recent survey by Ball State University found that 83 percent of 600 Hoosiers polled support background checks for private gun sales.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas isn&rsquo;t among them. He&rsquo;s a southern Indiana Republican and one of the National Rifle Association&rsquo;s biggest supporters. He says the President&rsquo;s executive actions &ldquo;did nothing&rdquo; to make people safer.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Every mass shooter, or the vast majority of them, have passed background checks,&rdquo; Rep. Lucas said. &ldquo;And the Department of Justice has shown that less than 2 percent of criminals get their guns from gun shows.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On the same day Obama outlined his executive orders, Lucas introduced his own two pieces of legislation at the Indiana statehouse. Both bills are aimed at expanding &mdash; not reducing &mdash; access to guns.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>(Reporter Ryan P. Delaney of WFYI in Indianapolis contributed to this report)&nbsp;</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Michael Puente is WBEZ&rsquo;s Northwest Indiana reporter. Follow him on Twitter @MikePuenteNews. Mike is also on Facebook, </em><em>Instagram</em><em> and Snapchat @Mike &lsquo;Miggy&rdquo; Puente.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 07 Jan 2016 12:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-gun-show-some-welcome-stricter-background-checks-114412 Will Obama's Action Create a Market for 'Smart' Guns? http://www.wbez.org/news/will-obamas-action-create-market-smart-guns-114399 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gunss.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="Andy Raymond demonstrates the Armatix iP1, a .22-caliber smart gun that has a safety interlock, at Engage Armaments in Rockville, Md., last year. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/Getty Images)" /></div><p>The notion of a gun smart enough to tell who&#39;s holding it isn&#39;t new.</p><p>Since the 1990s, inventors have been developing firearms geared with technologies that can authenticate their users &mdash; for instance by recognizing the fingerprint, the grip or an RFID chip &mdash; and stop working if held by the wrong hands.</p><p>Several manufacturers have tried to introduce Americans to the concept, but the market here has been&nbsp;<a href="http://fortune.com/2015/04/22/smart-guns-theyre-ready-are-we/" target="_blank">less than friendly</a>&nbsp;over concerns that they are unreliable and would lead to more gun control.</p><p>Supporters now hope that President Obama&#39;s new executive actions could turn things around.</p><p>In a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/05/462020685/obama-seeks-commonsense-gun-control-through-executive-actions" target="_blank">series of measures aimed at reducing gun violence</a>, Obama directed the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security to &quot;conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology that would reduce the frequency of accidental discharge or unauthorized use of firearms, and improve the tracing of lost or stolen guns.&quot;</p><p>In an address at the White House on Tuesday, Obama added: &quot;If we can set it up so you can&#39;t unlock your phone unless you&#39;ve got the right fingerprint, why can&#39;t we do the same thing for our guns? If there&#39;s an app that can help us find a missing tablet ... there&#39;s no reason we can&#39;t do it with a stolen gun. If a child can&#39;t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure that they can&#39;t pull a trigger on a gun.&quot;</p><p>But to Stephen Teret, longtime proponent of smarter guns and founder of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-policy-and-research/" target="_blank">Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research</a>, this could be the key element: Obama also directs the agencies to &quot;explore potential ways to further&quot; the use and development of smart gun technology as well as consult with other agencies that buy firearms to see if smart guns could be considered for acquisition and &quot;consistent with operational needs.&quot;</p><div id="res462035317"><iframe height="555" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?embed=true&amp;id=2673821-2016smartgun-Mem-Rel" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="100%"></iframe></div><p>Teret says smart, or personalized, guns have faced a stalemated kind of supply-demand: Manufacturers best-positioned to make and market these new guns don&#39;t want to go all-in on the idea without a reassurance of big orders, while no big buyer would put in such an order for an unestablished technology.</p><p>In simplest terms, if federal law enforcement and the military start buying lots of smart guns &mdash; and that&#39;s a big if &mdash; Teret thinks it would be just the incentive that manufacturers, venture capitalists and other investors need to consider such guns as a viable product.</p><p>&quot;What today represents is blowing up the logjam that has been keeping us from moving forward,&quot; Teret says.</p><p>The impasse has a long history. A&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/242500.pdf" target="_blank">2013 report from the Justice Department</a>, solicited earlier by Obama, listed numerous corporate and research projects in the U.S., Europe and Australia that tried to develop smarter gun technology, including from established gun-makers like Colt&#39;s Manufacturing and Smith &amp; Wesson.</p><p>Many of the projects fizzled out, facing&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/03/18/174629446/can-smart-gun-technology-help-prevent-violence" target="_blank">numerous reservations</a>&nbsp;both from gun proponents and from opponents.</p><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Will It Make Us Safer?</strong></span></p><p>One of the biggest concerns from law enforcement officers cited by that 2013 DOJ report was reliability &mdash; the concern that a battery-powered or computer-chip-driven gun wouldn&#39;t fire when it should.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nssfblog.com/nssf-statement-regarding-executive-actions-to-reduce-gun-violence-and-make-our-communities-safer/" target="_blank">National Shooting Sports Foundation</a>, the main firearms industry trade association, in a statement, says it has never opposed development of smart gun technology. &quot;How additional government research into this technology would advance it is unclear,&quot; the group says.</p><p>And the industry&#39;s big worry is that support for smart gun technology would turn into a mandate that all guns need to be smart.</p><p>In fact, New Jersey&#39;s 2002 &quot;Childproof Handgun Law&quot;&nbsp;has spurred much of the outcry over&nbsp;attempts to sell smart guns in the U.S., because it said that once &quot;personalized handguns are available&quot; anywhere in the country, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be smart guns within 30 months.&quot;</p><p>The National Shooting Sports Foundation also says there are &quot;well-proven existing methods to secure firearms&quot; and that firearm accidents are at an all-time low.</p><div id="res462061142">The National Rifle Association, in its statement criticizing Obama&#39;s executive actions, didn&#39;t comment on smart guns specifically but generally argued that the presidential action would not have prevented recent mass shootings.</div><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vpc.org/" target="_blank">Violence Policy Center</a>, which advocates for gun control, also has no specific position on personalized guns but has argued that research dollars would be better spent on things that prevent gun violence, like better injury and death measurements, youth programs and public education about risks.</p><p>Spokesman Avery Palmer referred NPR to the group&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vpc.org/fact_sht/Smart%20Gun%202013.pdf" target="_blank">2013 fact sheet</a>&nbsp;on smart guns, which runs through a variety of reservations about their effectiveness, including the possibility that it may attract more, not fewer, people to gun ownership.</p><p>The fact sheet also says the group opposes the use of any federal tax dollars in support of smart gun research. Asked whether that meant the group also opposed Obama&#39;s smart gun initiative, Palmer said the center didn&#39;t yet have enough detail on the proposal to determine the group&#39;s position.</p><p>Teret at Johns Hopkins says that firearm accidents have indeed been declining and smart guns aren&#39;t a panacea to gun violence. He compares his current advocacy to his earlier work to get air bags installed in cars, despite concerns about their risk and effectiveness.</p><p>&quot;No one can tell you with any level of certainty how many of the 33,000-plus [annual] gun deaths will be avoided by personalized guns,&quot; he says. &quot;But I certainly have absolute confidence that it will be enough deaths that will be avoided that makes this worth it.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://alltechconsidered" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 06 Jan 2016 23:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/will-obamas-action-create-market-smart-guns-114399 In Live Address, Obama Takes His Plan for Gun Control to the Public http://www.wbez.org/news/live-address-obama-takes-his-plan-gun-control-public-114377 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/obamagunadd.JPG" alt="" /><p><div id="res462025768" previewtitle="President Obama met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss gun control measures, along with, left, acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Thomas Brandon and, right, FBI Director James Comey."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="President Obama met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss gun control measures, along with, left, acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Thomas Brandon and, right, FBI Director James Comey." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/01/05/obama_custom-6bdd1d27e11b18cd8eb79e8bb9165722443d62a4-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 314px; width: 620px;" title="President Obama met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss gun control measures, along with, left, acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Thomas Brandon and, right, FBI Director James Comey. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters /Landov)" /></div><div><p>Saying that America faces a &quot;gun violence epidemic,&quot; President Obama is taking &quot;a series of commonsense executive actions&quot; to reduce gun violence Tuesday, the White House says. First among the measures: tighter rules on background checks for gun buyers.</p><p>President Obama made his case during a live address from the East Room of the White House Tuesday. We&#39;ve updated this post with news from the president&#39;s speech.</p><p>&quot;We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency,&quot; Obama said. &quot;It doesn&#39;t happen in other advanced countries. It&#39;s not even close.&quot;</p><p>The president invoked his own and gun owners&#39; views on constitutional rights &mdash; and he also invoked numerous mass shootings like the one in Newtown, Conn., late in 2012.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/05/462033317/watch-president-obama-gets-emotional-talking-about-gun-control">He grew emotional</a>&nbsp;at the end of his speech, at one point giving up attempts to <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/05/462033317/watch-president-obama-gets-emotional-talking-about-gun-control?ft=nprml&amp;f=462033317" target="_blank">wipe away tears from his eyes as he spoke</a>.</p></div></div><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/myfByN5p928?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><div id="storytext"><p>The executive actions&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/04/461954288/obama-to-announce-executive-actions-on-guns-tuesday">were announced Monday afternoon</a>, with the White House saying the steps were necessary because Congress failed to take action.</p><p><strong>Update at 12:25 p.m. ET: A Heroic Example</strong></p><p>President Obama tells the story of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.knoxnews.com/news/crime-courts/Police-investigating-2-shootings-in-7-hours-362913061.html">Zaevion Dobson</a>, the 15-year-old high school student who saved the lives of three girls when he dove on top of them during a shooting in December.</p><p>&quot;An act of heroism a lot bigger than anything we should ever expect from a 15-year-old,&quot; Obama says.</p><p>&quot;We are not asked to do what Zaevion Dobson did,&quot; the president says. &quot;We&#39;re not asked to have shoulders that big, a heart that strong, reactions that quick.&quot;</p><p>He added that those who want to see change in America&#39;s gun policies should work through obstacles, &quot;and do what a sensible country would do.&quot;</p><p><strong>Update at 12:18 p.m. ET: &#39;The Rest Of Our Rights&#39;</strong></p><p>Saying that Second Amendment rights matter, President Obama states:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;There are other rights that we care about, as well, and we have to be able to balance them. Because our right to worship freely and safely &mdash; that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, S.C.; and that was denied Jews in Kansas City; and that was denied Muslims in Chapel Hill, and Sikhs in Oak Creek. They had rights, too.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>He then says the right of peaceful assembly has been robbed in movie theaters in Colorado and Louisiana &mdash; and the pursuit of happiness and liberty has also been taken away in attacks on schools.</p><p>&quot;Those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg, in Santa Barbara, and from high schoolers in Columbine, and from first graders in Newtown.&quot;</p><p>While applause had followed the president&#39;s listing of those events, his final words about students were said after an emotional pause; they were greeted with silence in the room.</p><p>The president repeated: &quot;First graders.&quot;</p><p>As he attempted to move on with his speech, Obama paused to wipe a tear from his eye.</p><p>&quot;Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,&quot; he said, his eyes now wet with tears. &quot;And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.&quot;</p><p><strong>Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Role Of Technology</strong></p><p>&quot;If a child can&#39;t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure they can&#39;t pull a trigger on a gun,&quot; Obama says.</p><p>He compares &quot;smart guns&quot; to smartphones that require a fingerprint the device, and mentions trackers that could help find a stolen gun.</p><p><strong>Update at 12:10 p.m. ET: The Plan</strong></p><p>President Obama starts outlining the four steps he&#39;s taking via executive action, from closing the gun show loophole to expanding background checks to catch people trying to evade controls by making purchases through corporations or other entities. Improved mental health care is also in the plan.</p><p>The president&#39;s plan rests on four main points:</p><blockquote><ul><li><strong>Background Checks</strong>:&nbsp;Require all gun sellers &mdash; including online and at gun shows &mdash; to have a license and perform background checks. Have the FBI overhaul the existing background-check system.</li><li><strong>Enforcement</strong>:&nbsp;Improve the use of America&#39;s existing gun laws, and add 200 new agents to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.</li><li><strong>Mental Health</strong>:&nbsp;Remove barriers that can keep states from reporting and sharing information about people barred from owning guns for mental health reasons, and spend $500 million to increase access to mental health care.</li><li><strong>Technology</strong>:&nbsp;Push for research in gun safety technology, such as &quot;smart guns&quot; that can only be fired by authorized users. The research would be done by the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security. The White House notes the federal government is &quot;the single largest purchaser of firearms in the country.&quot;</li></ul></blockquote><p><strong>Update at 12:07 p.m. ET: &#39;That&#39;s Not Right&#39;</strong></p><p>Obama faults Congress for making it more difficult to track and research gun violence in America, saying that public health experts now have more trouble collecting data and facts.</p><p>He adds that people who can&#39;t board a plane can still buy guns in America.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s not right,&quot; Obama says. &quot;That can&#39;t be right.&quot;</p><p>He then says, &quot;The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now. But they cannot hold America hostage. We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom.&quot; &mdash; prompting a standing ovation from the audience.</p><p><strong>Update at 12:03 p.m. ET: &#39;We Can Save Some&#39; Victims</strong></p><p>&quot;We maybe can&#39;t save everybody, but we can save some,&quot; Obama says, acknowledging that stopping every gun attack is likely an impossible goal.</p><p>He says that in Connecticut, gun deaths dropped 40 percent after the state began requiring background checks and gun safety courses &mdash; while in Missouri, gun deaths rose to almost 50 percent above the national average after the state repealed gun control laws on background checks and permits.</p><p><strong>Update at 11:58 a.m. ET: &#39;Different Set Of Rules&#39;</strong></p><p>Obama says it&#39;s time to end the system in which some gun buyers operate under a &quot;different set of rules&quot; from others.</p><p>Recalling the 2013 failure to approve gun control legislation in the Senate, Obama says it failed because of Republican resistance.</p><p>&quot;How did this become such a partisan issue?&quot; Obama asks, quoting calls for better background checks from former President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain.</p><p><strong>Update at 11:55 a.m. ET: The Second Amendment</strong></p><p>&quot;I taught constitutional law. I know a little about this,&quot; Obama said, insisting on his belief in the protections for gun owners. He adds that he thinks the right should be balanced with other protections.</p><p>And he says many gun owners agree with him.</p><p>&quot;A majority of gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale,&quot; Obama says.</p><p>He says there&#39;s no &quot;slippery slope&quot; to erode gun owners&#39; rights and confiscate guns.</p><p><strong>Update at 11:51 a.m. ET: Town Hall Meeting Thursday</strong></p><p>The president says he&#39;ll host a town hall meeting in Virginia to hear from both sides of the issue.</p><p>Calling for a sense of urgency about the issue, Obama says it&#39;s time &quot;not to debate the last mass shooting, but to try to prevent the next one.&quot;</p><p><strong>Update at 11:48 a.m. ET: Giffords Acknowledged</strong></p><p>Obama notes that former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and barely survived in a 2011 attack in Tucson, Ariz., is attendance, setting off a wave of applause.</p><p>&quot;I know the pain that she and her family have endured these past five years,&quot; Obama says, noting the recovery efforts Giffords has undertaken.</p><p>&quot;Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns,&quot; Obama says.</p><p>He adds that there&#39;s resilience in the room, along with heartache, among the survivors of gun violence.</p><p><strong>Update at 11:45 a.m. ET: Obama Speaks</strong></p><p>The president was greeted with a loud and sustained ovation after he was introduced by Mark Barden, who lost his son in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Obama recalled speaking with Barden after that tragedy.</p><p>&quot;That changed me that day,&quot; Obama said, adding that he hoped it would also change the country.</p><p>The president then listed a string of shootings, in Aurora, Colo., the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.</p><p>Our original post continues:</p><p>&quot;We have tens of thousands of people every single year who are killed by guns,&quot; Obama said Monday. &quot;We have suicides that are committed by firearms at a rate that far exceeds other countries. We have a frequency of mass shootings that far exceeds other countries.&quot;</p><p>In a public opinion poll from last August, 85 percent of Americans said they&#39;re in favor of expanding background checks, according to a Pew Research Center poll. Those in support included 88 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of Republicans.</p><p>The National Rifle Association has criticized Obama&#39;s plan, calling it &quot;a political stunt.&quot; In 2013, the group worked to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/04/17/177638177/senate-rejects-expanded-background-checks-for-gun-sales">block enhanced gun control legislation</a>&nbsp;that was introduced in the wake of the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.</p><p>Today, President Obama was introduced by Mark Barden, who lost his son in that shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.</p><p>As NPR&#39;s Scott Horsley reported Monday, &quot;ATF will play a central role in the administration&#39;s move, by clarifying what it means to be &#39;engaged in the business&#39; of selling guns. Until now, some collectors and hobbyists have been able to avoid that designation.&quot;</p><p>Scott added, &quot;the FBI is hiring 230 additional staff people to speed the processing of background checks.&quot;</p><p>Gun sales have reportedly been up, as buyers worried it might become harder or impossible to purchase some weapons.</p><p>Some of those buyers visited a gun store and shooting range in Lorton, Va., where customer Sherry Shoske&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/05/461997774/gun-owners-brace-for-obamas-executive-order">told NPR&#39;s Eyder Peralta</a>&nbsp;on Monday that she recently bought an Uzi &quot;because I thought that [Obama] was going to be making changes, so I should buy any gun that I want to buy before he makes the changes.&quot;</p><p>Several customers at the store acknowledged that America has a problem with gun violence &mdash; and that some rules should change. But they also said the issue is too complex for quick fixes.</p><p>One customer, Chris Harto, told Eyder, &quot;It&#39;s easy to say if we didn&#39;t have guns this wouldn&#39;t happen. But the reality is, there&#39;s over 300 million guns in this country, and they&#39;re not going to go away.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/05/462020685/obama-seeks-commonsense-gun-control-through-executive-actions?ft=nprml&amp;f=462020685" target="_blank"><em>This story will be updated via NPR</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 05 Jan 2016 10:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/live-address-obama-takes-his-plan-gun-control-public-114377 Congresswoman Robin Kelly continues fight against guns http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-15/congresswoman-robin-kelly-continues-fight-against-guns-114166 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/robin kelly.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/RepRobinKelly?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Rep. Robin Kelly</a> has been a very outspoken advocate for gun control measures. Last week during Morning Shift&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-04/how-prayer-fits-politics-114051">segment after the San Bernardino shootings </a>she called in to say that she no longer observes moments of silence in Congress after mass shootings. Kelly says that elected officials need to do more than offer prayers and consolation.</p><p>We talk to Congresswoman Kelly about what measures she&rsquo;s supporting, and also get her take on police involved shootings.</p></p> Tue, 15 Dec 2015 10:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-15/congresswoman-robin-kelly-continues-fight-against-guns-114166 An Evangelical Leader's Changing Views on Gun Ownership http://www.wbez.org/news/evangelical-leaders-changing-views-gun-ownership-113323 <p><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gettyimages-51950226_wide-88d6581ed15f2822f5d11812d9db2d554727497c-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="The Rev. Rob Schenck, of the National Clergy Council, right, and the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, pray in front of the J. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C., in 2005. Schenck is a pro-life activist who believes gun ownership and the use of guns is a decision best decided by community leaders, not the government. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)" /></div><div>As the debate over gun ownership and gun control is renewed following the shooting deaths of nine people, including the gunman, at an Oregon community college&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/01/445034424/active-shooter-reported-at-oregon-community-college">earlier this month</a>, there&#39;s the voice of an evangelical leader whose views might be different from what some would expect.</div><div>arm</div><div>The Rev. Rob Schenck, president of Faith and Action, is an anti-abortion activist who believes gun ownership and the use of guns is a decision best decided by community leaders, and not the government.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Schenck is the subject of a soon-to-be-released documentary,<a href="https://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/filmmaker-talks-about-her-documentary-the-armor-of-light" target="_blank">&nbsp;The Armor of Light</a>,&nbsp;which focuses on his changing stance on gun ownership. Those views were affected by the 2013 shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/10/05/how-one-evangelical-activist-changed-his-mind-on-gun-violence/" target="_blank">according to The Washington Post</a>:</div><blockquote><p><em>&quot;For years, Rev. Rob Schenck led nonviolent protests as an anti-abortion activist, focusing on abortion as the primary &#39;sanctity of human life&#39; issue.&nbsp;</em><em>But everything changed after the 2013 D.C. Navy Yard shooting that left 13 people dead. A new documentary called &quot;The Armor of Light&quot; tracks Schenck as he decided that one cannot be both &#39;pro-life and also &#39;pro-guns.&#39;</em></p><p><em>&quot; &#39;I&#39;ll be very candid, I haven&#39;t felt that it&#39;s our issue, until we end up kneeling in prayer, outside the Navy Yard gates in my neighborhood where my apartment building was in lockdown,&#39; he says in the film that will be released on Oct. 30. &#39;So suddenly it goes from theoretical to very realistic.&#39; &quot;</em></p></blockquote><p>Schenck spoke with NPR&#39;s Scott Simon about his views and how they coalesce with his anti-abortion stance.</p><p>&quot;When you talk about aiming a weapon at another human being, no matter what the circumstances are, that&#39;s a question of paramount moral and ethical dimensions, so it&#39;s something that we should take very seriously, and I don&#39;t know that a lot of us are,&quot; he says.</p><div><hr /></div><p><strong><span style="font-size:18px;">Interview Highlights</span></strong></p><p><strong>On his calls for gun control on a personal level rather than a legal level</strong></p><p>Ultimately, we&#39;ll all make the decision what we will do, whether we&#39;ll own a lethal weapon and use it or not. We&#39;ve had a long discussion in this country &mdash; decades-long &mdash; on gun control, that is government gun control. For me, this is a question of self-control regardless of what the law may allow me to do. I appeal to a higher law. ... I&#39;ve said publicly, that in our respecting of the Second Amendment, we have to be very careful we don&#39;t break the second commandment, which is the commandment against idolatry. We can set up our own idolatry when we declare ourselves the arbiters of right and wrong, and especially, of the value of a human life.</p><p><strong>On how his views on guns relate to his views on abortion</strong></p><p>I&#39;ve been a pro-life advocate for 30 years. I see life as having value from the moment of conception, but there&#39;s a whole lot of life after conception. It&#39;s a pro-life question, and it&#39;s a deeply moral question, and it&#39;s, even for me, it&#39;s a theological question.<br /><br /><strong>On whether or not he owns a gun and why</strong></p><p>I do not ... on principle; I&#39;ve made the decision not to own a weapon. There&#39;s a lot of reasons for that. One is, I think it does create an ethical crisis for a Christian. Secondly, I don&#39;t necessarily trust myself, and maybe more of us would be better off to question what we will do in the heat of anger, fear, or God forbid, depression. My own family has a history of gun suicide due to depression. I know depression runs in families, and I don&#39;t want to take that risk.</p><div id="con447370085" previewtitle="Related NPR Stories"><p>I understand that impulse, and I respect it. I don&#39;t impugn people&#39;s motives on that. I think an awful lot of those people are sincere, and that&#39;s a noble inclination that we have. Now whether the handgun &mdash; a lethal weapon &mdash; is the best way to manage that security for yourself and your family is another question. Sometimes, a handgun can be a shortcut in the equation.</p></div><p><strong>On whether religious and ethical leaders can come to an agreement on gun ownership that politicians have missed</strong></p><p>Yes, I do. First of all, I don&#39;t want to sound too cynical, but I think politicians are, on the whole, eminently disqualified from really giving us good guidance on this question ... they&#39;re in the business of politics. That means winning elections. They&#39;re going to do what&#39;s in their best electoral interests on the question.</p><p>I hope that religious leaders are, for the most part, in a pursuit of the truth. So I&#39;ve decided I&#39;m going to shift to where my people are most comfortable, and that&#39;s the law of the heart, and of the mind, and of the conscious. And after that, I think we can probably get to some consensus on policy and legislation.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/10/447250761/an-evangelical-leaders-changing-views-on-gun-ownership?ft=nprml&amp;f=447250761" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 13 Oct 2015 16:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/evangelical-leaders-changing-views-gun-ownership-113323 Sanders speaks up for guns, Trump gets Hispanic support http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-09/sanders-speaks-guns-trump-gets-hispanic-support-113270 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1009_sanders-roundtable-624x472.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The news of the week in Washington may be House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy&rsquo;s dropped speakership bid, but he is not the only one turning heads.</p><p>Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon seeking the Republican nomination for president, made some highly-publicized comments when it came to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/10/06/ben-carson-says-he-would-have-been-more-aggressive-against-oregon-gunman/" target="_blank">gun control</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2015/10/08/ben-carson-gun-control-nazi-germany-intvw-wolf.cnn" target="_blank">Nazi Germany</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/ben-carson-debt-ceiling-marketplace-interview-214547" target="_blank">debt ceiling</a>.&nbsp;Donald Trump, who had claimed for months that &ldquo;the Hispanics love me,&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="http://onpolitics.usatoday.com/2015/10/08/woman-invited-onstage-im-hispanic-and-i-vote-for-mr-trump/" target="_blank">got some proof</a>&nbsp;at a Thursday night campaign rally in Las Vegas.</p><p>On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/07/446672839/clinton-breaks-with-obama-to-oppose-trans-pacific-partnership" target="_blank">tried to put some distance</a>&nbsp;between herself and President Obama&rsquo;s Trans-Pacific Partnership.&nbsp;And Bernie Sanders&nbsp;<a href="http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/sanders--i-differ-with-clinton-in-many-areas-539823171839" target="_blank">tried to highlight</a>&nbsp;his D-minus rating from the National Rifle Association.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young speak with&nbsp;Jeanne Cummings&nbsp;of The Wall Street Journal and&nbsp;Jesse Holland&nbsp;of the Associated Press for a closer look at the week&rsquo;s news in the race for 2016.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/09/sanders-trump-carson-clinton" target="_blank"><em> via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-09/sanders-speaks-guns-trump-gets-hispanic-support-113270 Norway's gun-free approach to policing http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-21/norways-gun-free-approach-policing-112441 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Harald%20Groven.jpg" title="(Photo: Flickr/Harold Groven)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215736644&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Norwegian police practices</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>The Norwegian government recently released new data about how the country&rsquo;s police use guns. The report found that in 2014 Norwegian police threatened to use their weapons 42 times but only two shots were actually fired during the entire year. Nobody was killed or wounded in either incident. Prior to the terrorist attack of 2011, Norwegian police did not even carry weapons. The majority of Norway&rsquo;s police, like forces in Britain, Ireland and Iceland, patrol unarmed and carry guns only under special circumstances. Margaret Hayford O&rsquo;Leary, a professor at St. Olaf College joins us to discuss the Norwegian police force.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> <em>Margaret Hayford O&#39;Leary is the author of &#39;The Culture and Customs of Norway&#39; and head of the Norwegian department at St. Olaf College.</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215737089&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Japan&#39;s declining birth rate</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Japan&rsquo;s birthrate, which has been declining for decades, reached a record low last year. More than a quarter of the country&rsquo;s population is over the age of 65. The decline in births has come as many Japanese have decided to marry later or not at all. The changing demographics have all kinds of implications for Japan, everything from a shortage of workers to take care of the elderly to issues for maintaining social security and pensions. The Japanese government has attempted all sorts of policy changes to try to address the issue. Liv Coleman, a professor of government and world affairs at the University of Tampa, joins us to talk about how the country is dealing with its declining population.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> <em>Liv Coleman is a professor of government and world affairs at the University of Tampa.&nbsp;</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-21/norways-gun-free-approach-policing-112441 Morning Shift: One year after Sandy Hook, what's changed? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-13/morning-shift-one-year-after-sandy-hook-whats-changed <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Protest and Newtown Flickr Elvert Barnes.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Saturday marks the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting. In the wake of this tragic event, how has the reality of gun violence and gun control legislation changed? We check in with experts at the state and national levels.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-one-year-after-sandy-hook-what-has-b/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-one-year-after-sandy-hook-what-has-b.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-one-year-after-sandy-hook-what-has-b" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: One year after Sandy Hook, what's changed?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 08:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-13/morning-shift-one-year-after-sandy-hook-whats-changed Law proposes ban on gun magazines holding more than 10 rounds http://www.wbez.org/news/law-proposes-ban-gun-magazines-holding-more-10-rounds-107265 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/newtown.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A panel of Illinois State Senators is scheduled to hear from some parents whose children died in December&rsquo;s mass shooting in Newtown, CT. The parents are asking lawmakers to approve a bill banning gun ammunition magazines from holding more than 10 rounds.</p><p>The parents spoke emotionally with reporters in Chicago on Sunday. Nicole Hockley lost her son Dylan, 6, in the shooting.</p><p>&ldquo;If the shooter&rsquo;s magazines had held 10 rounds instead of 30, forcing him to reload many more times, what additional opportunities would have been available for someone to disarm him, as we&rsquo;ve seen in other tragedies?&rdquo; Hockley asked.</p><p>The legislation would allow prosecutors to charge with a felony anyone making, selling or possessing magazines with more than 10 rounds. Those found with a magazine containing more than 17 rounds would face even harsher prosecution.</p><p>Meantime, Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, acknowledged the struggles his chamber has seen this legislative session agreeing on gun-related laws. A vote on proposed concealed carry legislation had been postponed because of a lack of agreement. Cullerton said Sunday a vote on limiting the size of magazines, like concealed carry, could come down to one or two state senators.</p><p>&ldquo;I want to see these three parents come down to Springfield, Illinois and I want them to make some of the senators very uncomfortable,&rdquo; Cullerton said.</p><p>In January, Illinois state lawmakers tried to pass legislation limiting the size of gun magazines, but it failed to pass the full legislature. It was one of the first attempts to pass gun control legislation in the country after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn has supported calls to limit the size of magazines along with banning so-called assault weapons. On Sunday, Quinn said he&rsquo;d be focusing on the magazines aspect of gun control legislation this week.</p><p>The House of Representatives also has yet to approve concealed carry legislation, something a federal court mandated lawmakers approve before June 9.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers state politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Mon, 20 May 2013 08:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/law-proposes-ban-gun-magazines-holding-more-10-rounds-107265 Quinn pushes gun control at Chicago churches http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-pushes-gun-control-chicago-churches-106542 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/quinn sabina.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is taking his call for new state gun regulations to the church pulpit. He&rsquo;s been reaching out to church-goers about his positions on increased gun control measures currently being debated by the state General Assembly.</p><p>At St. Sabina&rsquo;s on the city&rsquo;s South Side Sunday, Quinn invoked the Bible in talking about proposals like expanding background checks, banning certain guns and reporting lost or stolen weapons.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not going to stand by and let children and others be killed. No no no. We&rsquo;re going to listen to what Paul said: Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails,&rdquo; Quinn told the congregation.</p><p>Quinn also visited two other churches on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side almost a month ago to push for gun control legislation.</p><p>The pastor at St. Sabina&rsquo;s, Father Michael Pfleger, said he&rsquo;s taking a group to Springfield this week to lobby for stricter gun regulations.</p><p>&ldquo;If Connecticut can respond out of what happened in New Town, Illinois, you ought to respond to what&rsquo;s going on in Chicago on the South Side and the West Side,&rdquo; Pfleger said after Quinn spoke. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s time to step up.&rdquo;</p><p>Pfleger could have a tough sell to some lawmakers from outside Chicago who have been resistant to bans on so-called assault weapons.</p><p>Much of the debate in Springfield has focused on allowing concealed carry after a federal court ruled Illinois&rsquo; ban on carrying concealed weapons was unconstitutional. Legislators have until June to approve a concealed carry measure.</p></p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 14:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-pushes-gun-control-chicago-churches-106542